I am worried that writer’s block may already be upon me. How can this be? I wonder to myself, since it has only been 5 days, 23 hours, and 18 minutes since I first unveiled this blog. However, I can tell you immediately what is tripping me up, and that is you. Yes, I am sorry to say dear readers, but this is the truth. You see, over the years when I was writing for Almost30 or Breathing Under Water, it was mostly for myself. Sure, I shared the web address with a few people: Mostly family members and a few close friends. But now I am a small fish in a big pond. Sharing my soul with Facebook all of a sudden seems daunting in so many ways. Will I be judged for my thoughts and feelings if they are different from your own? Will I be liked? And even more importantly than that, will I be understood?
For me, writing is not about creating characters that do not exist, it is about exploring in the most authentic way possible the truth of what does exist. I don’t write fiction (though it is probably my favorite thing to read), I write about myself and my life experiences in the hopes to join people together– To have others say, “I feel that way too.” Or at the very least to make people laugh, to see things from a perspective that they had never thought of, or hell just to entertain in some way. I may not write about the “intellectual” if you will (you won’t see many blogs from me on politics, government, or the economy)– I write about the emotional. Something that all of us possess, whether we are in touch with our emotions or not. As a social worker I have always been fascinated not with people’s IQ’s, but their EQ’s. (Emotional Quotient).
And then all of a sudden I am keenly aware that writing about oneself is like trying to be who you really are deep down inside in middle school– The time in your life when you feel awkward and vulnerable and want so much to be yourself, but feel frozen and terrified. People can pick you apart just by glancing at you sideways. Kids back then always seemed to know just what your insecurities were and somehow, find ways to showcase them. Now I am choosing to showcase my own soul, my own insecurities, my own truth. And it could prove to be a big mistake. I am tempted to pick and choose my words carefully so as not to be mistaken for a poorly taken picture. Will my words be looked upon as an overexposed photograph would? Will what I am trying to say, the creation of it all, somehow become “washed out?” Alas, I don’t want to be underexposed either. Nobody wants their words to be overshadowed by anything else, or be looked upon as “muddy.” And then I remember that both over and under exposure are technical judgements, not artistic ones, and hope that this writing from the heart can be valued by it’s artistic and genuine nature more than anything else.
I am not writing this post to have you appease me, readers, or to have you soothe what I am already afraid will be an injured soul. No, as much as I invite you to join in on this journey with me, this is something that I will have to get over myself. It is not only about writer’s block, nor is it only about being vulnerable. It’s about following my truth, whether others get it or not. It’s about following your truth, whether others get it or not. And this is actually what our own truth really is all about: Getting out of our own way to follow our passions whether we believe we are good enough or not, sticking with something despite the fear, and creating our own success… Not waiting for it to arrive on our doorstep the way we so often hope it will. And certainly not worrying about judgement based on over or under exposure, but hoping that we will be seen– and embraced– for who we really are.